3 Considerations When Evaluating Talent Acquisition Partners

When it comes to choosing a new talent acquisition solution, Talent Acquisition teams have many choices. After all, who has time in today’s fast-changing talent landscape to review all 100+ options on the market to find the right one?

That’s where having a trusted third-party analysis is key, helping you save time and money by doing most of the research for you. Luckily, Aptitude Research has made it easy to get impartial reviews with their latest report, Talent Acquisition Systems (2021): Mapping a New Path.

The report provides a framework for informed decision-making based on core themes and industry trends. The result is a buyer’s guide that sets you up for success, so you can evaluate with confidence and invest wisely.

Here are three of those considerations to help you pick the best talent acquisition solution for your company. 

About the Aptitude Index Report

Unlike other lists of the best recruiting software, the Aptitude Index Report does not rate or rank providers. Instead, it offers a high-level overview of the talent acquisition technology landscape to help talent professionals determine what criteria to evaluate when selecting a solution. 

This year’s report profiles 13 leading vendors (including Lever) by highlighting key differentiators, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as responses to COVID-19 and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. It also features unique insights from author and Aptitude Research Founder, Madeline Laurano.

[Related: 5 Reasons to Switch Your Applicant Tracking System]

3 considerations when reviewing talent acquisition providers

If you’re ready to upgrade your ATS to a modern recruiting software, you’re not alone. According to Aptitude Research, 44% of companies adopted new talent acquisition solutions in 2020 and one in four companies are looking to replace their ATS in 2021.

Your north star in this process? Finding a partner who meets your needs not just today, but also in the future. That means asking tough questions to determine who is dedicated to innovation, staying one step ahead of the recruiter’s changing needs, and has a reputation for support.

“TA buyers must look beyond functionality and consider true partnerships in both the product and the vision.”

  • Aptitude Research

Key considerations to guide your evaluation process:

  • The best-of-breed vs. enterprise resource planning (ERP) debate persists. Many talent leaders face resistance from IT or business leaders when investing in best-of-breed providers over core human capital management (HCM) systems or ERP providers. Good news is, companies can have both, with many options that blend the best of both worlds.
  • The applicant tracking system (ATS) is not enough. Modern recruiting requires a modern talent acquisition software, which is so much more than a workflow or traditional ATS. It’s a next-generation talent relationship management (TRM) and candidate relationship management (CRM) solution that empowers you to build real, personalized relationships with prospective talent at scale.
  • The foundation is the most critical. For talent acquisition technology to be effective, companies must build a solid foundation that includes integration, data management, and automation. From there, every aspect of talent acquisition can be built. Done well, the foundation is intentional and scalable.


[Related: How to Choose the Best Applicant Tracking System]


Planning for current and future needs

Turns out many organizations are underutilizing their current talent tech investments. Aptitude Research found that only 3% of companies are using all of the functionality in their ATS system. Despite this, one in four companies plan on changing their ATS in 2021.

That’s why it’s so important to look internally at what your organization needs from a recruiting software and put together a list of requirements that can drive your search. That way, you can find a true partner who will grow with you and not just one for the short-term.

When it’s time to evaluate recruiting software, ask yourself: “Does this provider have products and services that will not just solve my current problems, but also scale with me? What is their product roadmap and does it fit with my organization’s needs? Are they committed to innovation?”

[Related: 21 Questions to Ask When Choosing the Best ATS]

Prioritizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

It’s not enough to work in silos when it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) goals. Real impact begins at the talent pipeline stage and is an important complement to other initiatives happening across people and management teams.

New to Aptitude Research’s Report this year was a spotlight on DEI. Talent acquisition providers must lead by example for DEI, not only with the product capabilities they offer their customers, but also their own commitment to DEI through leadership, team, culture, and services.

Questions to ask as you evaluate providers on DEI should include:

  • Does this provider prioritize DEI within their own company rather than just telling me I should do so?
  • Do they have a dedicated DEI role?
  • Do they provide blinded resumes or blinded interviews to reduce bias?
  • Do they consider how ethical AI and AI matching can reduce bias?
  • Do they have deep analytic insights into DEI?

Lever named a Best-of-Breed Provider with a Strong Commitment to DEI by Aptitude Research.

Enhancing the user experience for candidates and recruiters

You can have all the amazing capabilities in the world at your fingertips in your recruiting software, but if it’s not easy to use, talent teams and hiring managers won’t engage. That’s why, in addition to all the factors above, the report stresses giving experience its weight.

Ease of use for recruiters provides a positive, enjoyable experience that boosts productivity. Meanwhile, customization for candidates removes friction along with the application, interviewing, and onboarding phases — even more important in hybrid or fully remote work models.

Capabilities to look for when it comes to experience include:

  • Nurture and candidate engagement tools
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Talent pipelines
  • Candidate communications
  • Job distribution and career sites
  • Internal mobility
  • Employee referrals

[Related: Recruiting RFP Template: How to Evaluate an ATS with CRM Solution]


See Lever’s award-winning software in action

We’re proud that Aptitude Research recognized Lever as both a provider with a strong recruitment marketing/CRM solution and a strong commitment to DEI. Curious to explore these tools and learn more about our capabilities? Get a personalized demo of our CRM + ATS today.